Parenthood means marking lots of milestones, and we passed a pretty big one in our tech-loving household last week. We bought our 14 year old, Nathan, a cell phone.
At 14 he’s somewhat behind the curve among his peers for getting a cell phone, but we haven’t felt it was necessary until this school year. As a freshman in high school he is off on his own more than he has been in the past, and I feel more comfortable knowing if he needs to stay late after school that he can text or call me easily.
“With great power comes great responsibility.” –Voltaire, Jesus, or Stan Lee depending on who you ask
Cell phones aren’t all fun and Angry Birds games, though. They also bring some major responsibility to the table, but it’s responsibility I’d rather he have under our supervision. Part of the responsibility is that he has to sign a contract (you can find an example here) to promise that he will only use his cell phone for good, not evil. 😉
While I trust Nathan it’s an important lesson for him to learn that any information they put out there can be seen by others, so he knows that we’ll check in on his phone at any time.
For more on what you should discuss with your teen see Tech Savvy Mama’s post (and check out her brilliant site while you’re at it).
What kind of phone?
We purchased a new iPhone 4 for his use. At 99 ¢ it was a bargain price upfront, and he didn’t ‘need’ the upgrades the iPhone 5 offers. We chose an iPhone for several reasons-compatabilty with our current app collection, ease of monitoring, and because he is a developer. (Yes, really.)
We opted to switch our plan around to a family plan and once we did the math realized we’d only be paying an additional $10-$15/month for another phone (including data). He can easily work that off with household chores. 😉
Have you purchased a cell phone for your teen? What expectations did you set with them for responsible use?